Pagers in the Night

Pagers in the night

Buzzing and beeping

Alarms sound through the night

Instead of sleeping

Our nervous system jolts

Like lighting bolts all night

Every so often nurses call me

Relaying vital signs and pain

Each one a stone thrown

Sending ripples through my brain

Countless as pages through the night

I know I’ll be alright, if I live to see the sunrise

Get through another night

Like I’ve done and I will do again

Sleep was just a glance away, a brief and fleeting chance away

Pulled away by pagers in the night

Glam Glam Life

Up all night like electric light

I live that glam glam life

Listening to rhythm of beating hearts

Ordering a shots when the sky is dark

I’m on call, solving 99 problems 

Shout out to my night shift team

Working til the break of dawn

All night long

I’ve got a call room with a hospital bed

My patients on my mind, overflowin my head

I keep it tight like a tourniquet

Saving lives like I was born for this

In scrubs I still look glamorous

Pagers blowing up on my hips

I’m on demand like your favorite flicks

Nurses asking me can you handle this

Under my mask I blow them a kiss

I prescribe drugs for all manner of bugs

I’ll give you one puff, I’ll give you two

When you feel short of breath, I’m there for you

When your blood pressure is high,

and when it gets low,

I’ll be there for you sure as your pulse ox glows

Some people watch medical drama on TV

While I be living it glamorously

I used to party like a rockstar

Now I practice as a doctor

Workaholic

I went into medicine partly due to heartbreak

The exhaustive training of medical school and residency was a welcome albeit ineffective distraction from my sorrow and loneliness
24-hour shifts are a convenient justification for not keeping in touch with loved ones
Even though the real excuse is my social anxiety and sense of inadequacy
Living within hospital walls, I suspect that I am not the only physician who became a medical doctor to try to forget unrequited love, to escape the world of human relationships
My older colleagues work far more than they need to to make ends meet, far more than any reasonable person would work in a week
Who needs friends or feelings when you have patients and science?
Our skin grows pale under fluorescent lights
Our vision becomes shortsighted as the screens stare unblinkingly
Our hearts forget how to feel carefree
Our muscles atrophy as our brains hypertrophy
Our minds become boxed in with facts, our mental filing cabinets overflow
I am a recovering workaholic working alongside workaholics who do not appear to be in recovery
Perhaps they suspect the same of me
Heads down in the trenches, none of us can know another’s heart
We can only know our own heart, if we listen
We carefully administer medications, surgeries and therapies
We measure progress in numerical metrics of lab values, calculated scores and vital signs
We arrive early and stay late
We work day and night without a break
We always have too much on our plates
We deprive ourselves of sleep, fresh air and food
We know why we have irritable moods
Practicing medicine is an unhealthy, imbalanced lifestyle and we know it
We can only ever heal ourselves
I’m ready to show it
I am finally healing my broken heart
I found that I had to begin at the start
Childhood wounds tangle and bloom
Trauma begets trauma until we change our thoughts, words and actions
Breaking old patterns even as we hold traction
I am love itself, I am the source of what I sought
My cup overflows, it was not all for naught

On-Call

Pagers beeping
Record keeping

Alarms blaring
Nostrils flaring

Amidst piercing bings,
The phone rings

I’m pulled up, down, left and right
Pounding stairs day and night

Juggling vitals, labs and EKGs
Uncertainty is my only certainty

Tasks crash like ocean waves upon my shore
One after the other, ever more

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning, but I stay afloat
Every time a patient says ‘thank you’, it’s my lifeboat

I was blessed to find, while on call
A pot of coffee down a darkened hall

Cup after cup, I drank it up
Sometimes having it all still isn’t enough

I rest my eyes just before sunrise
Grateful that all my patients stayed alive